Three things shocked me when I became a mum.
Firstly nobody told me how horrific labour actually was.
Secondly nobody warned me how incredibly hard breastfeeding was going to be.
Thirdly- why did no-one tell me how utterly mind numbingly boring and dull being a mummy can be!?
I have decided this is quite possibly a conspiracy by women against women.
I suspect there are many reasons for this:
Firstly and most importantly I think pregnant women don’t actually listen! I remember my mother in law mentioning the phrase “intolerable agony” re. labour and my brain completely freaking out at that info and I did the mental equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears and going tra la la la la.
Also I guess until you have actually experienced it I don’t think you can have any idea about what the experience is really going to be like no matter how much prep you do.
But also I do think there is an element of some kind of conspiracy of silence from those who have experienced it before- and no-one really admits these things until you have joined the club yourself. I know there is an element of not scaring the new expectant mother but heck a bit more of a heads up might have been nice ladies. I have even wondered if there was an element of “muahaha we went through it – she has no idea whats coming – lets wait til she joins the club” in a kind of Y7 bullied kid becomes the Y11 bully once they reach the other side way.
I guess what can be so shocking about the whole events is this conspiracy of silence leads to so many women feeling like failures when they really don’t need to as actually they are in a very big club! For example I recently learned the following statistic- Of first time births- less than 50% proceed without intervention, approx 25% will be assisted deliveries (forceps/ventouse) and approx 25% will end in c-section. So erm I felt like I was in a minority for not being able to get Munchkin out by myself when actually I was in pretty good company!
I guess now I am the otherside I have maybe joined the conspiracy club- if I talk to a pregnant woman about labour, breastfeeding or motherhood I do put a spin on it that David Cameron would be proud of- I am keen to highlight that I was unlucky re. my labour and although breastfeeding is the hardest thing I have ever done it is also the thing I am proudest of achieving in my life (I actually wanna put it on my CV but that would be weird) and re. motherhood I do mention its deathly dull but only to likeminded mums who know what I mean- the rest would probably report me to social services so we all carry on pretending we love changing nappies, and spoonfeeding sludge and watching bone-achingly dull childrens programs interspersed with feigning excitement over seeing a beetle.
But maybe its time we all tried to stop the conspiracy of silence- share our experiences and make sure we don’t judge others for their experiences however different (although I probably will secretly carry on judging scary alpha mummies (the ones who have little Jocasta enrolled in Mensa aged 6weeks) as we ain’t never gonna be on the same wavelength).
And if you are an expectant first time mum reading my blog- I have now told you the three big conspiracy of silence things- labour really fucking hurts (but babies are lovely and it is kinda worth it). Breastfeeding can be really relentless and tough (but it often gets easier past about 12weeks or so and it is a lovely bonding thing to do.) and motherhood can be really really fricking blow your brains out dull (but make friends with likeminded mums who also like to rant about the dullness and suddenly it ain’t so bad).
No go forth and share that info and break the conspiracy of silence.
(No Alpha mums were hurt in the writing of this post- they have armadillo hides after all).